Count Basie Center to present shows at Toms River North

TOMS RIVER – The Toms River Regional School District Board of Education has announced a partnership with the Count Basie Center for the Arts that is expected to produce revenue for the school district.

The partnership was announced during the board’s Sept. 18 meeting.

According to the agreement, the Count Basie Center for the Arts, which is out of Red Bank, will use the 3,200-seat RWJBarnabas Health Arena at Toms River High School North for 20 events during the 2018-19 academic year.

The school district will receive $3 for each ticket that is sold to an event. The Count Basie organization will program, manage and oversee the arena on the days of events.

“Teaming with New Jersey’s top-selling performing arts center will provide us the support to continue doing what we do best, serving our students and preparing them for the real world,” Superintendent of Schools David Healy said of the agreement that will produce revenue for the school district.

According to a press release, Jeremy Grunin of the Jay and Linda Grunin Foundation helped to bring the partnership to fruition.

“The partnership between the Count Basie Center for the Arts and the Toms River schools is going to be a game-changer for the RWJBarnabas Health Arena and folks living in and around Toms River,” Grunin said.

Board President Russell Corby said the agreement is an expanding enterprise that will increase and build outside revenue for the district. The agreement was approved by the board in a 9-0 vote.

“The hope is that the increased revenue this partnership will bring to the arena will help financially in a broader sense,” said Mike Kenny, a spokesman for the school district.

According to the press release, Adam Philipson, CEO and president of the Count Basie Center for the Arts, said the organization is looking forward to providing quality and diverse programming at the arena. He said they will engage families, seniors and the entirety of the greater Toms River market.

The RWJBarnabas Health Arena is also used by the New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association to hold state tournament events such as boys’ and girls’ basketball.